What are the mysterious blue holes that are formed off the coast of Florida?

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The old stories of the sea include stories about holes that open suddenly in the sea bottom and swallow what had up to the time on its surface. Although the case of legends, there is some truth in them: the same happens with the gaps in the earth during earthquakes, the ground of the seas and oceans sometimes opens in a similar way, creating the so-called “ blue holes ” in that science still does not know very well what there is.

Now, the expedition ” Green Banana “, organized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA for its acronym in English) will try to find some answers by traveling to the Gulf Coast , Florida , where there is an identified of these formations.

scientists have no idea how many blue holes there are or where it is most likely to be found. And, when found, are not easy to explore, since they are not always gigantic. “The opening of a blue hole can be several hundreds of meters under the water and, to many holes, the opening is too small for a robot to be submersible. In fact, the first reports of blue holes do not come from scientists or researchers, but fishermen and recreational divers , ” says NOAA in a statement.

The expedition, which will have a one-year duration, will begin in August and will explore the blue hole deep known precisely as the “Green Banana” in Florida. It is located about 50 m under the sea level , and scientists estimate that it has about 130 meters of dark depth . However, little else is known of this mysterious zone. Researchers who embark on the adventure belonging to the Laboratory, Mote Marine, University Florida Atlantic, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Geological Society of the united States.

A powerful life

2019 we explored a blue hole, about 50 kilometers from the city of Sarasota (also in the Cape of Florida), known ” Amberjack Hole “. The team discovered that one hole, about 35 metres under the sea and a depth of 100 meters , was an “oasis in a sea bottom, sterile.” There could be found two fish saw tooth intact (though dead) and a species in danger of extinction, as well as dozens of sharks , including a three meters long that was collected for subsequent studies, explains the NOAA.

in Addition, samples recovered from the hole of Amberjack have shown large amounts of inorganic carbon dissolved in the water, which according to the researchers contributes to the carbon cycle, possibly as a food source for microbial populations. They also found signs of nutrient flow , who travelled up from the depths, which means that some food sources may eventually emerge from the blue hole, even as other creatures, including sawfish deceased discovered by the researchers, slowly sink to the bottom.

The dives in the past year, in addition, isolated signs of water underground, finding isotopes of radium and radon , suggesting that there could be a connection of the underwater that connects the aquifer to Florida with the Gulf of Mexico . This is one of the mysteries the expedition want to confirm. “The blue holes are diverse biological communities are teeming with marine life, including corals, sponges, molluscs, sea turtles and sharks,” explains the organization. “The chemistry of sea water in the holes is unique and seems to interact with the groundwater. Scientists expect to know if these sinks are submerged are connected to the underground water of Florida.”